phaleslu (7670) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUN 3, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 11, 2013 22 oz. bottle via local trade- thanks again, Ryan! Pours a mostly clear cola brown color with a small tan head. Aroma shows tons of dark fruits (figs, raisins, dates), bourbon, oak, caramel malts, and vanilla. Alcohol sits in the nostrils at the end. Flavor of caramel malts, toast, bourbon, oak, dark fruits, brown sugar, and syrup. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a warm, sweet, coating mouthfeel. Really enjoyed the finish on this. Excellent bourbon barrel barley wine that totally met my high expectations. Re-Rate: 2012 vintage, compliments of stevemastny- thanks again, Steve! Just as rich and syrupy as I remember, with tons of dark fruit. Not quite as balanced and satisfying on the palate, though; a little boozier and harsher. Slight downgrade for that.
JulienHuxley (4323) - Trois-Rivières, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 2, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at Hill Farmstead Gathering. Rich aroma of bourbon, vanilla, molasses and faded hops. Sweet flavors of maple, brown sugar, cherries, very malty. Full bodied with low carbonation. Overall a good beer, the flavors were nicely melded together but could have been more intense.
DavoleBomb (1522) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 1, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2010 vintage, poured into a snifter. Thanks to a few folks for this.
3.5 A: Clear (I think) deep amber mahogany brown color. Two fingers of frothy tan head falls pretty quickly and leaves no lacing. A huge ABV will do that to you, I guess.
4.0 S: The aroma is good, but the bourbon overshadows the barleywine. Leathery, a touch of peat, oak and vanilla, and an almost nutty vibe. Underneath that there are hints of tobacco and dark fruitiness, molasses, brown sugar, booze, and a good helping of caramel.
4.0 T: The taste is more barleywine-forward for sure. Lots of tobacco, raisin, plum, prune, and date. Again somewhat nutty (perhaps from the bourbon, but who knows). Lots of molasses, brown sugar, and caramel. The bourbon kicks in after becoming accustomed to the malt flavors. Leathery, somewhat peaty in a smoky sense, and oak and vanilla from the barrel. Definitely sweet, but not cloying. The booze is very apparent, though. All 13.5% is realized.
3.5 M: Heavy body with a syruppiness to it. Just a touch chewy. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy, but a bit too hot to be as smooth as I’d like.
4.0 D: This is a good beer, but it doesn’t quite live up to the hype (at least not this vintage). I think this will be vastly improved in a few years after it is allowed to cool down a bit.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 05-22-2011 03:35:48
Shaftie (218) - , Maryland, USA - MAY 28, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks for this Ryan. ’08. This is a big bastard, tasty, and very much malt-inclined. Pretty damn yummy.
BOLTZ7555 (2979) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - MAY 15, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark crimson, garnet, ruby red brew with a tightly packed caramel head that left some lacing. Aroma was aggressive bourbon, vanilla, oak, molasses, and chocolate. Flavor shows intense bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit, wood, and toffee. So sweet, so full of alcohol. The ABV seems so much more present than in Perfect Storm. Not very well rounded. Still quite sharp when sampled. Good but was hoping for better.
Earlier Rating: 9/13/2010 Total Score: 4.6
Bottle shared by Sparky27...ERIC, YOU ROCK!!! Extremely dark mahogany body with crimson highlights that finishes with just a small eggshell ring for a head. Molasses, leather, tobacco, smoke, wood, vanilla, and bourbon entice the senses. Very "dark" aroma. Very complex flavor. Tend to get something new on every sip (and this definitely is a sipper). The bourbon influence is definitely present but it’s not "hot" at all. Creamy mouthfeel. Absolutely delicious!!!
daleharshman (979) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 14, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
From bottle at Holiday Wine Cellar’s private tasting in January 2011. Pours dark brown with reddish highlights. The nice dark beige head has good retention and regeneration. Aroma is very bourbon-y; also some caramel and a distinct whiff of pumpkin pie with Cool-Whip brand sweet cream on top. Flavor is initially boozy bourbon, then a whole lot of fruit (dark fruits as well as cherry, berries, apple, pear) along with vanilla, caramel, creamy spice, and molasses. The huge ABV is well hidden here. Great barleywine and very nicely complex. (29, 558)
BuckeyeBoy (3696) - Boise, Idaho, USA - MAY 7, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 28, 2011 22oz Bottle 2009 vintage thanks to ditmier for sharing this one. Next to the 2007 Strom Watcher (the base beer). Pours out dark brown topped with a small sand head. Aroma was very nice lots of the barrel notes vanilla, bourbon, pit fruit, wood, and some light hops. Taste was more of the sweet barrel notes along with some heat and caramel.
bhensonb (12596) - Woodland, California, USA - APR 25, 2011
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bomber - possibly from Bottleworks. Pours clear dark garnet with a transient tan head. Sweet aromasof bourbon/vanilla. Full bodied. Sweet, but not sticky. Mild heat. Touch of oak. Flavor is somewhat dark fruit with smooth bourbon, and perhaps a touch of brown sugar. Barleywine as it should be.
marcus (7682) - Sacramento, California, USA - APR 25, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared by bhensonb. Pours ruby with very little head, just a few bubbles, and a pleasant fruity and oak aroma. There is a smooth dark malt flavor with plum, a little vanilla and a fierce alcohol trail. It’s like drinking a very nice brandy with lots of mellow fruit flavor.
bleeng (1583) - Houston nowhere near Beersel, Texas, USA - APR 22, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber thanks to maltomeal-great find!! Pours dark brown but looks filtered/clear. not much head. Nose is very sweet, full of spiciness and whiskey but complex-tough to label this one. Taste first off reminds me of some of the Firestone anniversary beers. Taste of whiskey, sugary notes, some spiciness. A bit cloying but this stays with you all the way through. Complex and immensely interesting. I usually don’t prefer sweeter beers but too bad I’ll have to finish this bottle by myself.